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Hawkeye & Mockingbird
by Roger Ash
Every now and then I like to recommend a book I think you ought to be reading. this time out, it’s Marvel’s Hawkeye & Mockingbird by writer Jim McCann and artists David & Alvaro Lopez. quick disclaimer: I’ve known Jim McCann for years as he was a marketing contact of mine at marvel before deciding to become a writer full time. I think he’s a good man and he’s a friend. Does that color this review? I don’t think so, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.
First, a bit of background. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) is Marvel’s awesome archer and has been a villain, solo hero, and member both the Avengers and West cost Avengers. He adopted the costumed identity of Ronin for a while, but that’s behind him now. Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse) is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, martial artist, and can really kick some ass. She was also a member of the West cost Avengers. Oh yeah, and they are lovers who got married and were as happily married as any superhero couple can be. and then Bobbi died. Sorta.
It was revealed during Marvel’s secret invasion event that a number of people from the marvel universe had been abducted by the alien Skulls and Skrull agents had taken their place to prepare for an invasion of Earth. Mockingbird was one of the people taken, so it was really her Skrull double who died. Or to put it much more simply, people thought Bobbi was dead, but it was actually someone else. Now, Bobbi is back.
New Avengers: The Reunion
So what does Bobbi’s return after years away on the Skrull homeworld imply to both her and Clint? That was the subject of the miniseries new Avengers: The Reunion, which is now available in a very good collection. I was not a huge fan of either of these characters, but I had the opportunity to interview writer Jim McCann about the book for Westfield (which you can read here). His passion for the book and his love of these characters made me want to pick it up and I’m happy I did. It’s a fun superhero romp full of action, intrigue and adventure. The art by David & Alvaro Lopez didn’t wow me at first but, over time, it’s grown on me and I’ve seen them improve. They’re equally adept at action sequences and quieter character moments, which is rare.
Apparently, there were enough other people who were knocked out by the miniseries as well that it became an ongoing series with Hawkeye & Mockingbird, with the main creative team intact from the miniseries. Bobbi has put together an action team of ex-S.I.E.L.D. agents who were also abducted by the Skrulls into The world Counterterrorism agency (W.C.A.). The team consists of Hawkeye and Mockingbird (naturally), Twitchy (intelligence), Bangs (weapons & explosives), London (who can make near about anything), and classic marvel adventurer Dominic Fortune. fortune was a pleasurable surprise for me as I have fond memories of reading his adventures by developer Howard Chaykin when I was growing up, as well as the recent miniseries. Together, they fight whatever menaces may arise. and in the first story arc, that’s classic villains Phantom Rider and Crossfire. and there’s someone working behind the scenes as well who has yet to be revealed. This book is a fun superhero romp filled with twists and turns, action, romance, intrigue, and plenty of shocks and surprises. Month after month, this comic keeps me coming back for more.
At the moment, Hawkeye & Mockingbird is on a brief hiatus for the Widowmaker miniseries which teams Hawkeye and Mockingbird with the Black Widow. After the series concludes, Hawkeye & Mockingbird will return with new adventures (I hope). Hawkeye & Mockingbird is a fun book that is worthy of to be on your reading pile. It has everything a superhero fan could want – action, heroics, great writing, fun art, and characters you want to spend time with. give it a try.
Now, go read a comic!